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Treasured Social Butterfly
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Re: A Robot Tax?

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@retiredtraveler wrote:



"....One of the larger employers in our community is a call center. They are closing down and the local Community College has stepped in with classes and seminars to help retrain the workforce.  The training facilities are there. We need to find a way for society to pay for the costs and government to organize the process....".

 

However..........train them for what?  Don't just throw money at the problem. Have a list of jobs in demand for the area, see if you can partner with employers, develop a training plan, set some standards, etc.  Our local CC did this when employers came around and showed the need for factory workers with tech skills such as CNC. My concern, which I believe will only grow, is that few people have enough educational drive, and smarts, to succeed. Trying to retrain someone who has put screws into widgets for 20 years, and now that job is automated, may not be able to 'retool'. 

   Here is a list of needed skills from one source:

 

 

  • Mechanical ability, including assembly; drilling and tapping; welding and assembling bearings, sprockets, chains and sub-assemblies.
  • Working knowledge of pneumatics and hydraulics
  • Ability to read and understand mechanical and electrical prints
  • Ability to use troubleshooting methodologies for all equipment in the plant
  • Am understanding of all programmable logic controllers, including troubleshooting ladder logic and re-programming
  • Ability to rewire machines and understand variable drives, device net, ether net, and control net systems
  • Practical use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to train customers and write repor

 


 


The unspoken extension of my story was that the school was preparing a curriculum for the displaced workers which would enhance their ability to get employment in the region.  Of course, they also will be preparing this workforce for some jobs which have not yet come to the region but might.  Ex: at the spaceport. 

 

The point is that jobs come and jobs go so we must find a way to provide appropriate  retraining while helping the workers survive in the interim. 

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Re: A Robot Tax?

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"....One of the larger employers in our community is a call center. They are closing down and the local Community College has stepped in with classes and seminars to help retrain the workforce.  The training facilities are there. We need to find a way for society to pay for the costs and government to organize the process....".

 

However..........train them for what?  Don't just throw money at the problem. Have a list of jobs in demand for the area, see if you can partner with employers, develop a training plan, set some standards, etc.  Our local CC did this when employers came around and showed the need for factory workers with tech skills such as CNC. My concern, which I believe will only grow, is that few people have enough educational drive, and smarts, to succeed. Trying to retrain someone who has put screws into widgets for 20 years, and now that job is automated, may not be able to 'retool'. 

   Here is a list of needed skills from one source:

 

 

  • Mechanical ability, including assembly; drilling and tapping; welding and assembling bearings, sprockets, chains and sub-assemblies.
  • Working knowledge of pneumatics and hydraulics
  • Ability to read and understand mechanical and electrical prints
  • Ability to use troubleshooting methodologies for all equipment in the plant
  • Am understanding of all programmable logic controllers, including troubleshooting ladder logic and re-programming
  • Ability to rewire machines and understand variable drives, device net, ether net, and control net systems
  • Practical use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to train customers and write repor

 


 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Re: A Robot Tax?

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@NerdyMom wrote:

I didn't realize that existed.   Nice.   I was just thinking how my father's career was so different from mine.  He worked in the same place for 30 years and retired with a great pension at 50.  !!!   I hopped around to get promotions, but generally did the same type of work.   I foresee my kids having multiple mini-careers as employment needs change.   A re-education system is a good idea. 


One of the larger employers in our community is a call center. They are closing down and the local Community College has stepped in with classes and seminars to help retrain the workforce.  The training facilities are there. We need to find a way for society to pay for the costs and government to organize the process.

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Re: A Robot Tax?

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@retiredtraveler wrote:

"....It would seem that some central authority should design a system of continuous reeducation again, like the Canadians and Europeans have...".

 

Yes. They have programs. But they are primarily for skilled trades. As has been discussed a number of times, American youth mostly insist on going to college and don't want to get into occupations that dirty their hands. We can certainly develop such programs, but will they come?

   "Coding" is all the rage now. But the most in-demand job in the U.S. are personal care aides, home health aides. Also, truck drivers, diesel mechanics. 

   


I am not sure about "today's youth" but when I was in high school, skilled trades were never offered. I suppose coding is in demand but not as a code monkey but as a developer. That takes imagination and conceptualization.  Those who work with code do not get their hands dirty but it is just as repetitive.  We used to outsource almost all of it to India. They had the training and they were lots cheaper. 

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Re: A Robot Tax?

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@Richva wrote:

 It would seem that some central authority should design a system of continuous reeducation again, like the Canadians and Europeans have. No wonder they have more economic mobility that the United States. 

 


I didn't realize that existed.   Nice.   I was just thinking how my father's career was so different from mine.  He worked in the same place for 30 years and retired with a great pension at 50.  !!!   I hopped around to get promotions, but generally did the same type of work.   I foresee my kids having multiple mini-careers as employment needs change.   A re-education system is a good idea. 

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Re: A Robot Tax?

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"....It would seem that some central authority should design a system of continuous reeducation again, like the Canadians and Europeans have...".

 

Yes. They have programs. But they are primarily for skilled trades. As has been discussed a number of times, American youth mostly insist on going to college and don't want to get into occupations that dirty their hands. We can certainly develop such programs, but will they come?

   "Coding" is all the rage now. But the most in-demand job in the U.S. are personal care aides, home health aides. Also, truck drivers, diesel mechanics. 

   


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Re: A Robot Tax?

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I listened to a lengthy interview with Bill Gates, on this subject, last year some time. He repeated, a number of times, that robotics was going to continue and that there would be massive 'worker displacement' for some period of time.  
And he believes that AI will truly come about in another generation, or two.

 

It sounds like he is trying to now suggest a way to mitigate this. He didn't have any proposals during the interview I watched. Probably scared a great many people who watched it.

     


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Re: A Robot Tax?

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Message 8 of 10

Sounds like we are discussing a Value Added Tax like the Canadians and Europeans have regardless of how the value is produced, you are taxed.  You can raise the tax percentage as your need for social services increase. All well and good but we are still talking about replacing people and people need some way to be productive. Businesses have, rightly, refused to reeducate their workforce preferring to move to where the skills are. It would seem that some central authority should design a system of continuous reeducation again, like the Canadians and Europeans have. No wonder they have more economic mobility that the United States. 

 

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Re: A Robot Tax?

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Message 9 of 10

I was just going to write that this would support a future universal basic income as fewer people are needed to work.  But the full article addresses that. 

 

I don't know how much it would slow down the adoption of automation, though. A business' tax liability stays the same but they forgo the need to pay the $50,000 salary to an employee.  That's still a big incentive to automate.   Plus, automation obviates the need for things like paid leave, workers comp, etc.

 

 

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A Robot Tax?

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Not a bad idea.

 

"Robots should be taxed at the same level as the people they replace, to help fund better social services and education, according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

 

Governments rather than businesses need to take the lead on managing the robotics revolution and ensuring there's a plan to deal with the unemployed workers it creates over the next 20 years, Gates told Quartz.

 

"Right now, if a human worker does $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you'd think we'd tax the robot at a similar level," he said.

 
​Don't worry, robots and AI won't take your job: Well, at least not all of it

​Don't worry, robots and AI won't take your job: Well, at least not all of it

Automation probably won't lead to massive unemployment, but governments will still need to prepare for major upheaval, according to a new study.

Also, with fewer people working, governments will have less income tax to spend at a time when it may need more money rather than less.

 

Gates argues that governments should raise taxes on robot capital to slow down adoption and provide the time needed to devise programs that create a net benefit from this excess labor. Besides a direct robot tax, he added that some taxes could come from profits made by labor-saving efficiency.

 

"You cross the threshold of job-replacement of certain activities all sort of at once. So, you know, warehouse work, driving, room cleanup, there's quite a few things that are meaningful job categories that, certainly in the next 20 years, being thoughtful about that extra supply is a net benefit. It's important to have the policies to go with that," Gates said.

 

"People should be figuring it out. It's really bad if people overall have more fear about what innovation is going to do than they have enthusiasm. That means they won't shape it for the positive things it can do. And, you know, taxation is certainly a better way to handle it than just banning some elements of it," he said."

 

More at: http://www.zdnet.com/article/bill-gates-robots-that-take-jobs-should-be-taxed-just-like-the-people-t...

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